Thursday, July 9, 2009

Winter garden


Hello there! I'm back in the land of watercolours, trees, walks in the park... I think there are more work projects on the way, but for now... wheee! I must say discipline and deadlines do me good every now and then and I'm glad my 'work' is almost as much fun as my 'play'. Just so much of it at a time!
But this morning I got up, free as a bird, and put on my walking shoes and my new pedometer and went on my usual route around the dam - 5613 steps including an extra bit to the supermarket to buy some yoghurt to put on my breakfast. Only 220 calories burnt - a bit downcasting, but I'm not sure if I've set my new toy properly. I'll have to figure out a way that the walk at least cancels out the breakfast. I didn't stop and sketch, it was bracing to say the least, but when I got home I had a hot shower and sat in the sun in the garden to sketch the branches of our big jacaranda. As purple as the flowers are in early summer (see sketches here and here and oil paintings here) the foliage goes golden in winter before it all falls off - W&N Quinacridone Gold and Green Gold are the perfect match.

I very quickly sketched my neighbour's jacaranda to get a bit of distance on the subject - on the original Emmarentia farm rows of them were planted, along with avocado trees which you can still see dotted around. Tragically, lots of recent immigrés to the suburb are chopping down every big old tree on their new properties and building vast palaces and concreting what's left - what kind of mindset is that? Joburg, as I've mentioned before, has the biggest manmade Urban Forest in the world, but I don't know for how much longer at this rate!

7 comments:

Pat said...

Oh, No! That is so sad about the trees. People move to beautiful neighborhoods and then change them. What's that all about? Your paintings are great, showing your fall colors when we are in summer. Great perspecitve.

Charlene Brown said...

How unusual to see these beautifully twisted branches when they don't have to compete with the spectacular flowers for our attention. These sketches are just lovely! (And thanks for pointing us to the obligatory purple pictures as well.)

laura said...

Oh, I love all three of these, Cathy!! The golden yellows are beautiful, and I really love the lively way you've painted the branches!!
We have the same phenomenon here: people buy a wooded lot, then bulldoze all the trees. Then, to add insult to injury they put down sod (kept alive with chemicals) and run their air conditioner all day because of the heat (no shade!).

Cathy Gatland said...

Thanks Pat, yes, I don't understand it. There are plenty of suburbs with no trees in them already to move to! Jacarandas go yellow long after fall is over for some reason.

Charlene, thank you - the branches do twist and turn - they make a hang of a mess though - always something falling off - flowers, stems, twigs, leaves, pods, flowers again...but I love them anyway!

Thanks Laura - I think there should be an international law that people should get a permit to chop down old trees - the world needs them!

RHCarpenter said...

Love each of these watercolor sketches, Cathy, and don't worry about that calorie-cancelling-out thing - you need some calories to keep you walking!! So sad about the trees...we have people in our neighborhood who chop the trees down or cut their tops off and they look so awful. I like trees, shrubs and even weeds at times...and love to see the little rabbits in the yard chewing on the clover when the grass how grown a bit.

Art with Liz said...

Aaah Cathy, these are lovely and so Gauteng winter! Too many people taking up too much space? Down here it's the baboons that are getting a hard time.

Dave King said...

That top one had me drooling, it's really good. Well done. Liked the other two, but that one... wow!